Uniform postal rates started on 14 November 1783, coupled on distance.

With the Edict of 4 June 1830 there is ordered that the rate had to be calculated on the basis of the distance between two Government-cities. The rates from Livonia ate known, but from Estonia or Lithuania I have not found information.
The rates depends also on the weight. The lot" was the unit of weight (12,794 gramme). This unit of weight came from the German, 'Loth' en the name in Russian was also lot".
For the benefit of the inhabitants of Livonia the 'Befehl Seiner Kaiselichen Majestät...' [Order of His Imperial Majesty....' from 1830 was translated in German by the 'Regierungs-translateur' [Government-translator] and here we find also the exact distances and amounts The German text you can find in photo-mechanical reprint in Philatelia Baltica.
Per lot'' and distances in versts (1067 meter):
To 250 versts: 20 k. per lot" for letters (for parcels per 'Pfund')
To 500 versts: 30 k.
To 750 versts: 40 k.
To 1000 versts: 50 k.
To 1250 versts: 60 k.
To 1500 versts: 70 k.
To 1750 versts: 80 k.
To 2000 versts: 90 k.
To 2250 versts: 94 k.
To 2500 versts: 96 k.
To 2750 versts: 98 k.
To 3000 versts and higher: 100 k. (1 rubel)
The amounts are in coppermoney and banknotes.

All letters within a Government had the same tariff: 20 kop. a lot" (quantity of 12,794 gramme).


1840, 1 January
With the Imperial Edict of 6 December 1839 new, lower, to pay in silver currency, tariffs were introduced 1 January 1840
Per lot" and distances in versts (1067 meter):
- 300 versts: 5 kop.
300 - 800 versts: 10 kop.
800 - 1100 vests: 15 kop.
1100-1800 versts:20 kop.
1800- : 25 kop.
Letters within a government: 5 kop.


1844, 1 January
Ordered in 1843, but real 1 January 1844, new uniform postal rates are introduced in whole Russia.
Letter of 1 lot": 10 kop. in whole Russia
Letters abroad get the same tariff on 1 November 1843 (10 kop. per lot), but this was as far as the border.
This uniform tariff is maintained to 1875.
After introduction of postage stamps (1857) international letters had to be paid in cash. With the Edict of 13 April 1863 postage stamps were allowed also for international letters, but only for not-insured letters and printed matters.
In this period, so before the U.P.U.-treaty of 1875, the rate differs by destination. Woollam mentions in his article some letters from 1865:
to Constantinople: 20kop., 30 kop.
to Switserland: 27 kop.
to France: 37 kop., 74 kop.
to Greece: 30 kop. with postage due
The Post-treaty between Prussia and Russia of 1 January 1866, has also great influence on the tariffs. Woollam mentions also some letters from 1866:
to France 30 kop., 28 kop.
to Germany: 40 kop.
naar Italy: 28 kop. (not enough)
naar Great-Britain: 26 kop., 25 kop.
So it remained very complicated.


1872, 1 January
The rate for letters within Russia remained the same, but for the most kinds of post new rates came into being, as for postcards, which also were introduced the same day.
Letters inland 10 k. per lot"

1873: Letter from Vilnius to Mariampole with the inland rate of 10 k.

The postmark, resized 50 %

The cancellation is a special railway-postmark, as we have somewhere else on this site.

Letters local (St. Petersburg and Moscow 5 k. per letter (to 15 March 1909)
Letters local (other cities) 3 k. per letter
Postcards inland 5 k.
Postcards local 3 k.
Register 10 k. per item


1875, 19 June
With signing of the U.P.U.-treaty (27 September 1874) the members, also Russia, bound oneself to lay down postal rates for inland mail on 25 French Centimes. Deviation was possible: between 20 Centimes (5 kop.) and up to 32 Centimes (8 kop.). Every country was obliged to introduce the tariffs on 19 June 1875:
Letters inland and abroad 8 k. per lot (15 gram)
Postcards inland and abroad 4 k.
Register 10 k. for 1 item
1878: Postcard from Birsen to Prussia with the abroad-tariff 4k.
This card has a 'stop-postmark' from БЖРЖИ (BIRZHI), the Lithuanian Biržai. The German name is Birsen.

The postmark, resized 50 %

About this kind of 'stop-postmarks' I have not find any information. I appreciate it very much to get more information and/or literature. Birsen (Birschi, Birzai, district of Ponewesch, Lithuania) was a stagecoach stopping in 1878, before it became a post office in 1893.
In the catalogue of Harry von Hofmann -new edition 1996, number 2.012 - also ismentioned the Latvian name: Lapaine. More information about the postmark is welcome via e-mail

More infomation about Biržai in Wikipedia.


1879, March 20
At the U.P.U.-congress in Paris (2 May - 4 June 1878) one decided to uniform tariffs, from which no divergence was possible. For letters this became 25 Centimes (7 kop.), to introduce March 20, 1879.
In Philatelia Baltica we find a reprint of the 'Post-Regeln' ['Postal Regelations'] (Riga, 1879), in which the exact regulations are mentioned. For inland letters the tariff became 7 kop. per lot". For letters abroad the tariff became also 7 kop., but per 1 1/6 lot" or 15 gramme.
Letters inland and abroad 7 k. per lot" (15 gramme)

1891: Letter from Vilnius to Riga, so with the inland-tariff of 7 k.

For inland letters this tariff (of 20 March 1879) should remain to 1914.

1879: Letter from Kaunas (KOBHO = Kowno = Kaunas) to Klingenthal with the abroad-tariff 7k. (the same as the inland-tariff)
This postal rate, from 20 March 1879, should change for abroad again on 8 March 1889.

Other tariffs 20 March 1879: Postcards inland and abroad 3 k.
Register 7 k. for 1 item

This cover has the postmark ЭЙРАГОЛА [EHIRAGOLA], now the Lithuanian place Ariagola in central Lithuania.
The German indication of this place is Eroglen, the Polish indication is Ejragoła. There are more names for this place - -: Eragala (Yiddish), Ragala (Yiddish), mHoyragola (18th century Grand Duchy of Lithuania), Iragola, Ariogalos, Ragola, Ragole.

Right above on the cover is handwritten:

The cover is sent to Saint Petersburg in 1894: inland rate 7 kopecks and registering 7 kopecks (only for letters abroad this is changed 8 March 1889).

There is a letter inside the cover, but difficult to read. If someone will try, I can sent a copy.

1908: Card from Vilnius to Kaunas with the inland-rate: 3 k.
The cancellation is of Vilnius-Voksal, but no railway-postmark.
On the postmark we see:
ВИЛЬНА (WILNA), Vilnius and ВОКЗАЛЪ (VOKZAL) = station

We have to do with the stationpost-office of Vilnius. In the book "Russian Railway Postmarks" (p. 176) is mentioned a list of stations with "VOKZAL", which in spite of that did not fall under the railway mail. This post-office did not fall under the railway mail -as the most station-post-offices- , but under the Post Department. In the postmark the station-post-office used the German name Wilna, instead of the Polish Wilno.

1885: Postcard from Vilnius to Berlin, with the abroad-rate 3 k.

In 1882 the U.P.U. decided that every country has to use stamps with a separate colour for the different kinds of mail. Proposal was: blue for normal letters, red for postcards and green for printed matter.